Hidden Gems

   Sorry for two posts on the same day, but the last one was a rant I just had to get off my chest. This one is about writing, I promise.

   I’m guilty of a lot of things, most you can’t prove, and that holds true to my emerging writing style. I have a tendency to get caught up in the pictures that flash behind my eyes and in trying to accurately convey them into words and onto the page. So much so that I often forget the reader doesn’t know everything I do. Some may see it as the author is trying to prove how much smarter he is than the reader.

   I’m sorry to disappoint you there. I am not the smart one in my family, Sue is. I’m just the one with the over active and warped imagination. On the other hand, when researching a book and trying to make the fantastic seem real, I often stumble on these wonderful tidbits of information that I just have to share. Often, I’ll hide them in the book. A nod so to speak, for those that catch them. My feeble effort to make the reader go, “Hey, I didn’t know that,” and inspire them to look it up as I did. In doing so, hopefully it makes them re-read the book armed with the new knowledge.

   On DVD’s they call them ‘Easter Eggs’. I like Easter Eggs… ;P

   If this information is missed, it doesn’t change the story or its outcome. It’s my little quirk. I love the mystery of it, the joy of discovery, the little winks to the reader. It’s sort of like watching the new 3D movies. You can now watch them without the glasses and it is still a great movie, but, if you are so inclined, watching it with the glasses makes it a richer experience.

   Let me know what you think. Do you like reading a book and upon reading the last page having that “hunh,” momment and then re-reading it with eyes wide open to see how the author tricked you into thinking something else entirely? Do you like finding little surprises by way of word use, or subtle nods to previous books by the same author or to classic literature that came before?

   Or am I just too reading too much into it?


About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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2 Responses to Hidden Gems

  1. Lisa says:

    OMG, Yes! I love it when the author takes me by surprise at the end. I also love the Easter eggs. Like Matthew’s last name. I feel like I need to go back through your writing with a fine-tooth comb so I can find the other hidden gems.

    BTW, I do the same thing. Any idea why Nora’s cat is white with blue eyes?

    • Dale Long says:

      Thank-you Lisa! That is exactly it.

      Now you made me go hunting and now I do know why and it makes perfect sense. Seems fitting Nora would have a deaf cat. But then again maybe not…

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